Happy Mother’s Day!

We wish a most happy and blessed Mother’s Day to all our mothers! Certainly one day is not enough to express the gratitude that we have towards our mothers, whose love is so often our first lesson in the tenderness and mercy of God. Mothers teach us so many lessons: our duties towards God and neighbor, our prayers and our manners, how to sit still at Mass and the dinner table. A mother’s heart demonstrates to us honesty, sacrifice, care for others, forgiveness, and innumerable other virtues. Truly, who can count the things we owe to our mothers?

Fr. Luc Poirier’s mother clasps his hands after receiving the manutergium

And of course, we at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter know just how much we owe to mothers, for it is mothers who nurture the seeds of holiness that spring up into vocations. With every new first-year seminarian that comes to our doors and every new priest we send out, we know we have a mother to thank for her prayers and sacrifices. If you attend a priest’s ordination, you’ll even witness an age-old custom that publicly recognizes the role of the mother. After the ordaining bishop marks the hands of the new priest with the sacred chrism, he binds them with a cloth – called the manutergium – which performs the practical function of catching the oil before it drips anywhere. The new priest then goes to the altar rail to meet his mother, who unties the manutergium from his hands and keeps it. When she dies, she is buried with it, so that, when God asks her at her judgment what she has done for Him, she can tell Him: “I have given You a priest.”

Virgin with Child, by Murillo

Let us pray today for our mothers and give thanks for them. God Himself chose to come to earth through a mother and gave her a central role not only in His own earthly coming but in the economy of salvation, making her the Mediatrix of All Graces, the giver of all His good gifts. She is truly our Mother and the model of motherhood, the Mother of priests and the Mother of the Church, so let us entrust our earthly mothers to her loving care this day and always. Happy Mother’s Day! +

May 10, 2020